[Note: if this is your first visit to the challenge, scroll down to see a review of the process we are using before you begin…]
The refrigerator is a busy place in our lives. Items are added and subtracted from it on a daily basis, and multiple people access it around the clock. Therefore, keeping a busy fridge organized can be difficult. The best course of action is to periodically give it a thorough cleaning.
Begin today by emptying your fridge one shelf at a time, beginning with the top shelf. Temporarily move the items to a kitchen counter or island where you can easily review them. While the shelf is empty, wipe it clean. Then sort through the items, pitching whatever you don’t want. Get rid of expired food, moldy food, empty bottles, and any remnant food that no one in your home will eat. Remember that most containers can now be recycled, so consider rinsing them and putting them in your recycle bin. Continue moving down your shelves to the drawers, and then finish with the spaces on the door. Don’t worry about having the items out of the cold air. As long as you complete this task quickly, you’ll be fine. (If you have time, you can move on to your freezer, or hold this for a weekend project!)
You should now have a counter full of the food you want to keep. This is when you have some options. You can simply return it all and be finished. Many people establish general “zones” for like items, such as bottles on the door, milk on the right, butter/cream cheese up top, etc. If you want to go one step further, you can consider purchasing some organizing containers such as Fridge Bins, which help keep items in order.
If you decide to use containers, be sure to label them so all family members are able to “get with the system.”
This task isn’t complicated, so don’t overthink it. The key is to simply get it done. How often do you clear out your fridge? Did you find this rewarding?
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If you are joining the challenge today, here is a review of how to get ready to organize any of the spaces we are working on:
1. Gather your supplies: (you can reuse these same supplies each day)
- Boxes or bags labeled with “Donate”, “Elsewhere” and “Store”
- Trash can and recycle bin
- Damp rag/wet wipe
2. Remove everything from the area (yes, everything) and wipe it clean with a damp rag.
3. Sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)
- R- Restore: these are the items going back in
- E- Elsewhere: these are items to keep, but that don’t belong in this space
- D- Donate
- D- Dispose: trash or recycle
- S- Store: items you want to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which you don’t regularly use. These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.
4. Keeping the “Restore” items out, and put all other items into the boxes/bags you prepared.
5. Move items to their final destination:
- Put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
- Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
- Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
- Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items.
- Put the “Store” items into a container and move it to a remote location for future access.
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How often do you clean out your refrigerator?